The Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament yesterday approved the new fisheries agreement with Mauritania, which will enable the Community fleet to fish for four years in the waters of this African country, where it will be able to catch shrimp, groundfish, tuna and small pelagics.
Member States participating in this agreement are Spain - whose fleet is the one benefitting the most -, Italy, Portugal, France, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
The new agreement has been provisionally implemented since July 10, 2015, and replaces the previous protocol, which expired in 2014.
In return for the authorizations for European ships, the EU will pay Mauritania EUR 59.1 million a year, an amount out of which EUR 4.1 million will be destined to support the development of the fisheries sector in Mauritania.
The Fisheries Commission has also given the green light to the fisheries agreement with Liberia, under which Spanish and French vessels may fish in the waters of this country for five years.
The European Union will pay Liberia a total of EUR 3.25 million for being able to fish in its fishing grounds (EUR 715,000 in the first year, EUR 650,000 per year between the second and fourth year and EUR 585,000 in the fifth year).
The agreement was signed on June 5 last years and has been provisionally implemented since then.
Last week, through a non-legislative resolution, MEPs called for sanctions against vessels that do not comply with the covenants of sustainable fisheries and stressed that the agreement with Mauritania should serve as a model of transparency and compliance guarantee.
The adopted resolution welcomes the provisions on transparency of the recent protocol with Mauritania, which commits to publish all agreements with other States or private entities through which it authorizes access for foreign vessels to its exclusive economic zone, reported Europa Press.
The two fisheries agreements will now have to be approved by the full European Parliament in separate voting sessions that are scheduled to be held from May 9 to 12.